GMB Members Celebrate Learning
Fri 2nd Mar 2012
The commitment of GMB North West & Irish region Union Learning Representatives and achievements of learners supported through the GMB Reach Out project were marked in style at the ‘GMB Celebration of Learning Evening' on Thursday 1st March. Attended by Union Learning Representatives, local training providers, community activists, The Reading Agency, union officials and the GMB Regional Secretary Paul McCarthy, the evening provided a platform to showcase the work of the GMB and its partners in supporting work based learning, response to redundancy and adult education initiatives across the region.
Paul McCarthy GMB Regional Secretary said "Union learning is allowing members to fulfil their potential in many new ways ....."
As part of the evening GMB member Michael Clegg a Cook at a disability day centre for Tameside Council shared his learning journey through the project with guests. This highlighted the opportunities the GMB have given him in being able to access learning to improve both his professional and personal development. Michael started his journey through a GMB Reach Out Learning centre by taking part in the Six Book Challenge organised by local GMB ULR Linda Mercer, this spurred him on to achieve qualifications in Maths and English at levels 1 and 2 and is currently working towards his NVQ in I.T.
"going to work all day and having to travel across town to attend evening classes at another location was too stressful. The opportunities given to me by the GMB and in particular the support I received from ULR's have allowed me to progress in ways I could not have imagined. If I can do it anyone can"
Awards were presented by the GMB Regional Secretary to GMB learners from across the region in recognition of their achievements after completing courses at the 5 regional learning hubs established through the GMB Reach Out project. The audience also witnessed the signing of a Partnership commitment with Oldham College to mark their support across local projects and joint working in helping to develop the regional learning hubs and offers of support to members.
Other guest speakers included GMB ULR for Yodel Andy Rowlands who spoke of the importance of training support at times of transition for organisations. David Kendall from the Reading Agency highlighted the importance of reading and its contribution to improving literacy skills.
Kevin Flanagan GMB Reach Out Project Manager said, "If it wasn't for the hard work and dedication of our ULR's there would be nothing to celebrate. The level of support that ULR's give to members is outstanding". He underlined the challenge Trade Unions faced following the Industrial revolution, he felt the new challenge was the "training and education revolution" that had power to free people from low paid, unskilled and poor work. With 1 million young people not in employment, education or training the Movement needed to double its efforts not just in the workplace but in the Community. "The evening was excellent and a true celebration of everything that is good in the partnership working that the GMB, employers and providers from which our members benefit."